KARACHI: Meat merchants have pushed up the rate of veal meat (with and without bones) and mutton by Rs30-100 per kg to cash in on the soaring upcoming demand during the month of Ramazan, which is due to start in the middle of April.

As an annual practice, meat merchants have been giving at least one to two price jerks to the consumers before and during Ramazan and especially when buyers go wild for purchasing red meat a few days ahead of Eidul Fitr.

Retailers at the Water Pump and FB Area markets were seen charging Rs630-650 per kg for veal (bachhia) meat with bones and Rs730-750 per kg for boneless, showing a jump of Rs30-50 per kg.

Mutton traders in the same area had jacked up the price by Rs100 per kg to Rs1,300 from Rs1,200 per kg.

Rates quoted on the commissioner’s price list are much lower than in the market

A meat merchant said that a two-maund veal was now available at Rs48,000-50,000 which was available at Rs44,000 one and a half months back.

He said meat exports and shipment of animals to neighbouring countries had been rising, thus causing a shortage of animals in the market here.

A random visit to Burnes Road shows that some merchants have kept the rate of veal meat with bones and without bones at Rs700-750 and Rs800-850 per kg, up by Rs50-100. Those merchants, who have not raised the rate, are seen cautioning the buyers about price hike in the coming week. Mutton price at Burnes Road hovers between Rs1,300 and Rs1,500.

Burnes Road has been infamous for its very high prices as compared to other markets of Karachi, but traders claim that the quality of meat in the market is far superior to other areas. “People come to buy red meat at Burnes Road due to the high quality despite low prices of meat prevailing in their own areas,” a meat trader said.

A buyer at Korangi Crossing said he had purchased veal meat with bones at Rs600 per kg, up by Rs50 in the last two weeks, while the rate of the meat without bones is Rs700-720, which was earlier Rs650 a kilo.

A consumer in the Samanabad area, Gulberg Town, said he had paid Rs50 per kg extra last week to buy veal meat at Rs650 per kg and veal meat without bones at Rs850 per kg.

Surprisingly, the commissioner of Karachi’s price list available on the website reveals the price of veal with and without bones at Rs380 and Rs470 per kg, respectively, followed by the mutton rate at Rs740 per kg with a notice on the list which states “validity period: till further order”.

Meat merchants continue to blame high wholesale prices and animal rates as the main cause of the rising retail prices besides the thriving meat exports.

Published in Dawn, March 28th, 2021

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